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BJP parliamentary board to decide on Modi as PM candidate

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   7 April 2013 6:48 AM GMT
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Saturday avoided a direct reply on whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would be the party's prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, saying the parliamentary board will decide.

"Every party has a style of functioning and it runs according to that. When last time I was the party president, when we had to propose a prime ministerial candidate, I had consulted the parliamentary board and proposed (senior leader L.K.) Advani's name. This time also we will call a meeting of the central parliamentary board and it will decide whether to project him or not," he told Times Now channel.

Rajnath Singh, however, noted that Modi himself was a member of that parliamentary board.

On the Congress projecting its vice president Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate, he said: "How can I talk about him being the prime ministerial candidate when I have not even seen him work as a minister. How can I comment on what kind of prime minister he will be. We have not seen his performance even once".

On Gandhi's recent speech at a CII function, the BJP president said: "I will just say that he made as much effort as he could. He made an effort to be prepared before the speech."

Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hinting that he was not averse to a third term, Rajnath Singh said: "He will get third term only if Congress comes to power."

Speaking at BJP's foundation day function in Ahmedabad, Modi took a dig at Rahul Gandhi for his "beehive" comment, saying: "Congress thinks this country is a beehive. For us, this country is our mother... it is punyabhumi.

"I want to warn the powerbrokers of Delhi -- for all the harassment of BJP governments and workers -- you will get your reply," he said.

He said that the way the people of Gujarat "punished the Congress and defeated their major leaders in the last election... we thought they will improve, and learn to follow the limits of democracy, but they don't want to wait for even 100 days. Just think about their mental state".

The BJP also hit out at the Congress for comparing Modi to 'Yamraj', the lord of death in Hindu mythology, saying the Gujarat chief minister will prove fatal for the ruling party in the next Lok Sabha polls.

"Yes, Narendra Bhai is Yamraj but only for those who had and have been adopting terrorism, corruption and conspiracies against the nation. Congress has rightly seen Modi ji in the form of Yamraj as he will prove to be so for them in coming general elections," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said while addressing party workers in Rampur.